Event for event, WEC is the best promotion in the world. No matter who is fighting and no matter how many people are watching, you know you’re going to get an action packed WEC event. On top of great fights you also get to see Brittney Palmer. And best of all, it’s free.
WEC Featherweight Title Fight: Manny Gamburyan vs. Jose Aldo ©
Many consider Jose Aldo one of the five best fighters in the world and he’s certainly the world’s best featherweight. He holds a 7-0 WEC record and has amassed a highlight reel that is second to none. Manny Gamburyan doesn’t have the same reputation. He’s a UFC lightweight wash-out, many consider his KO victory over Mike Brown a fluke, and worst of all bro, he’s related to Karo Parisyan.
This is a fight Aldo should win. Not only is he the superior technical fighter but he also as the physical advantages and he can beat you in a variety of ways. He KO’d Cub Swanson with an explosive double flying knee, he over-powered and dominated Brown to capture the title, and he out-quicked Urijah Faber in a five round route. The only technical advantage Gamburyan has in this fight is his Judo but to use any of those Judo throws, he’ll have to clinch with Aldo, which means dealing with Aldo’s strength and muay-thai expertise. So how can Gamburyan win? If they’re both 100% and on top of their game, he can’t. But maybe Aldo isn’t on top of his game. Now that he’s the face of the featherweight division and he just headlined the first ever WEC PPV, maybe the notoriety and publicity has gone to his head or hindered his training. I liken this fight to Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra at UFC 69. Not only are the psychical and technical aspects about the same but so are the mental. Aldo just destroyed the face of the division, he’s been running through opponents, he’s considered one of the best fighters in the world, and nothing can go wrong. Gamburyan washed out of the UFC, got a shot at redemption in the WEC, and wants to make the most of his one possible title shot. Fans and media aren’t giving Gamburyan a chance and the oddsmakers have him a +450 underdog. He has nothing to lose in this fight and that’s the way he should fight.
Many people think Aldo could compete with the top lightweights in the UFC. If this is true, he should roll through Gamburyan, a UFC lightweight wash out. Even if it’s not true, he should roll through Gamburyan, a mediocre fighter. Expect Aldo to have his way with Gamburyan on the feet, avoid the big punch, stuff the takedowns, and finish him early.
Prediction – Jose Aldo by TKO in Round Two
Lightweight Fight: Donald Cerrone vs. Jamie Varner
In January 2009, Jamie Varner defeated Donald Cerrone and retained the WEC lightweight title by technical decision after the fight was stopped early in the fifth round due to an illegal knee by Cerrone. Now, 20 months later, they meet again. No title is on the line and given that they’re 0-3 against current champion Ben Henderson, a title shot may not be on the line. But after plenty of trash talk and even death threats by Cerrone, reputations are on the line, and sometimes, that’s more important than gold attached to leather.
Cerrone is a well-rounded fighter with one glaring weakness – wrestling. Varner is not only a very good wrestler but he also has excellent hands with plenty of power. Cerrone is the more diverse striker and he has power as well but Varner has a proven chin. In the first fight, whenever Varner was in trouble on the feet, he would score a timely takedown that ended up winning him the round. Cerrone is very slick off his back and the only two times Varner has been finished in his career, it’s been by submission. The biggest knock on Cerrone, besides his wrestling, is his slow starts. He’s notorious for giving away rounds early and then coming back strong in the later rounds. That’s never a good habit, especially when you’re facing top competition like Varner. Cerrone will be on his back in this fight. The thing he needs to do is not let Varner get comfortable on the ground. Make him fend off submissions and even stand back up. In other words, Cerrone needs to come to grapple and hope Varner comes to fight.
Full disclosure, I’m not a fan of Varner and I’m a big fan of Cerrone. With that out of the way, I don’t like this match up for Cerrone. He’s a slow starter and doesn’t have the 10 extra minutes he had in the first fight, his wrestling isn’t good enough to stop Varner’s takedown, and Varner’s submission defense is good enough to stifle the slick ground game of Cerrone. It will likely be an exciting back and fourth fight but Varner will do just enough in each round to get the nod.
Prediction – Jamie Varner by Decision
Bantamweight Fight: Charlie Valencia vs. Miguel Torres
Once the face of the bantamweight vision, Miguel Torres has fallen on hard time as of late. After never being finish in 38 career fights, Torres has been finished in his last two fights. One by brutal KO at the hands of Brian Bowles and the other by tight guillotine at the arms of Joseph Benavidez. Now he faces Charlie Valencia, a career mid-level fight who has won three straight, in an effort to prove he’s still one of the best bantamweights in the world.
This is essentially a “gimme” fight for Torres if he’s still a top fighter who has just faltered against other top fighters. Valencia is a well-rounded fighter but he’s always lost to top competition. Torres will have a huge reach advantage, although that didn’t do him much good against Benavidez. Valencia is a better wrestler but Torres is known for his extremely active ground game that sees him constantly striking and threatening from the bottom. Torres looked a little gun shy against Benavidez following his KO loss to Bowles but Valencia has never shown the striking prowess that Benavidez has. Valencia’s best bet to win is to takedown Torres and grind him out. That’s much easier said than done.
Look for an extremely motivated Torres in this fight. His back is against the wall, he’s been given a favorable fight, and he needs to prove that he’s still one of the best bantamweight’s in the world. Expect Torres to dominate on the feet and finish things on the ground.
Prediction – Miguel Torres by Submission in Round One
Featherweight Fight: George Roop vs. Chan Sung Jung
Everyone knows the story of “The Korean Zombie.” He made his WEC debut against Leonard Garcia at WEC 48, he turned in one of the most memorable brawls in MMA history, and now he’s back to do what he didn’t do against Garcia, and that’s win. George Roop isn’t exactly the most known fighter and at 10-6 he’s not exactly top competition but he might be willing to stand with Jung and that’s what WEC wants.
We know what Jung wants to do in this fight. He’s an excellent kick boxer who never stops moving forward, has power, and might have the best chin in MMA today. Roop specializes in jiu-jitsu but he has been training his striking the past few years with Shawn Tompkins. Roop will likely want to get things to the ground because finishing Jung on the feet is harder than trying figure out the plot of The Event. Even if things do go to the ground, Jung has an underrated ground game and he could submit Roop if he takes him lightly. Roop’s submission defense is also very questionable as four of his six loses have come by submission.
Like Torres vs. Valencia, this seems like a designed win for Jung. Simply put, he’s a better fighter than Roop and should be comfortable wherever the fight goes. Roop will likely be willing to stand, which will make for an exciting fight, but will also be his downfall.
Prediction – Chan Sung Jung by Decision
Featherweight Fight: Leonard Garcia vs. Mark Hominick
Leonard Garcia was the forgotten participant in his brawl against “The Korean Zombie” at WEC 48. So for those who forgot, he won that fight. Mark Hominick has won three straight fights and has a lot of momentum behind him right now.
Expect fireworks in this fight. Garcia not only has power in his hands but he’s also extremely tough to finish. Hominick will likely be willing to go toe to toe with Garcia given his kickboxing background. This fight just comes down to Garcia’s power against Hominick’s technique. Garcia really isn’t that great of a striker but he gets away with his punches because of his power and chin. Hominick on the other hand is an outstanding technical striker who mixes things up very well. It doesn’t seem fair to question Hominick’s ground game any more given his recent performances on the ground. It’s highly unlikely that the fight will go to the ground anyway given both competitors willingness to punch each other in the face.
This could be a fight of the year contender. If Garcia can land the one big punch, obviously he could turn Hominick’s lights out. But Hominick might be the best technical striker in the featherweight and he’ll likely batter Garcia with leg kicks and counter punches. It would be a huge feather in his toque if Hominick is able to finish Garcia but I’m not expecting it.
Prediction – Mark Hominick by Decision